Thursday, 27 June 2013

A speedy update

After the dyeing came a quick day of Shibori and indigo dyeing with Year 5's. As you can imagine, shibori even in it's simplest form with 60 children was a challenge. 'Make sure you have a knot at the end of your thread before you start stitching!!" was my mantra of the day. 'Keep the designs simple' and 'draw them in your art books so you remember which one is yours after it has been dyed and all look the same'. I didn't shut up all day. 

The children had done some research into indigo dyeing, so they knew more than me about it, I just knew it was magic!

After the stitching we went outside in small groups and gently put the samples in the dye bath. I say we, I was the one doing the work, they just watched and wooed with wonder.

Needless to say, with a day of dyeing in rubber gloves, I have no photo's of the work on that day.


The next stage was designing their letter and drawing it with fabric crayons. Looking good.

Then some could stitch round if they wished, some did some didn't. I find it depends upon not whether they are girls or boys, rather which was the wind is blowing and what lesson they might be missing as to whether they are keen to stitch.
Give them credit though, they are all keep to do their best and the work looked lovely.

 Year 4's, I was planning some sun printing, but didn't manage to book the sun for that day so had to think on my feet.

Some salt sprinkling came to mind and the salty squares were born.

Love this, they give a great contrast with the other techniques going on in the quilt, the children added African inspired letters which I will appliqué onto of their squares - appliqué? Was I planning to do that? No, but hey ho, for the good of the quilt, whats 60 appliqué letters to add to the pile of work.

Fun with Year 1's. I shall leave it at this photo, we had great fun. Dripping, swirling and STOP! I need to take a print of that one! Great fun.

A few of their squares drying, they add brightness to the quilt. 

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

My biggest quilt yet! Stage one.....dyeing fabric with Yr6

A few short weeks ago I came up with a great idea to make a quilt with children at our local school to celebrate their Centenary. It would involved every child in the school, a combined rather large school of 420+ children ranging from 3-11years. The Head very kindly agreed that it would be a great idea and after a couple of meetings I came up with a plan. Did I mention that he wanted it in the school Summer carnival, which was only 6 weeks away from the start date? No pressure there then....
I shall keep my blog sketchy with details, I am still in the middle of it all, so actually don't have time to blog much anyway. I'm also planning to write an article for a magazine, so need to keep some surprises for that in the Autumn!

Anyway, lets start: Year 6's helped me clamp, bind and dye the fabrics. These fabrics would be used later by different year groups and also to frame and bind the quilt.

I love to ooh and aaah when fabric appears from the dye baths. I thought the children might not be as excited, but I was wrong. They oohed and aaahed with gusto at the colourful fabrics we had created.

Drying on the line, never had my garden looked so sunny and colourful!
I couldn't stop looking at them.

Their next task, using the letter of their first name, was to design a complex pattern which they then inked onto their squares of fabric.

And then they stitched around their letters. Only 45 in this year group, so progress was made quite quickly in the scheme of things.

 Really lovely work, even the most challenging of child took pride in their letter and did a good job.

These are pictures of lovely designs and very neat stitching. 

Yr 5's and indigo dyeing in the next posting!!
Jane x